LEMONT – In a golf era of private lessons and swing coaches, Jake Groselak is a bit of a throwback.
The Lemont High School graduate, who recently wrapped up his sophomore year at Augustana College, learned the game of golf from his dad, Glenn.
“I started playing when I was 11 or 12,” said Groselak, who has two younger brothers (Ben will be a senior at Lemont and Nick is heading into eighth grade). “I’ve never really had a swing coach. I learned pretty much everything I know from my dad.
“Basically every weekend we’d go out and play. We started off playing short par-3 courses because that’s the best places to learn.”
Groselak went on to have a nice career at Lemont, where he also played baseball for four years and basketball for two seasons.
“Freshman year was not really a good year,” he said, “but after that, I picked up my practicing. Sophomore year I traveled downstate with the team as an alternate and then junior and senior year, I played on the teams that made it downstate.
“I got to play with some really good guys. I was around the three or four man. We were fifth as a team my junior year and seventh my senior year. I was pretty lucky.”
These days, Groselak finds himself as the top guy on the Vikings’ team, which competes in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
He was named team MVP this spring for the second consecutive year after finishing with a stroke average of 80.4.
“I was happy with it but there is always room for improvement,” Groselak said. “I started off not really how I wanted to but as the season progressed, I played better.”
As for the differences between high school and college golf, the main one has to do with the courses.
“The courses are longer,” he said, “so it is definitely beneficial to be a longer hitter. The nice thing is we get to play at a lot of country club courses. We are really lucky to be able to play all those courses. And the competition is really good. We are playing teams like Carthage, North Central and Millikin.”
This summer, Groselak is hoping to practice or play at least five times a week as well as compete in a few tournaments. In addition, the junior is working at his dad’s dentist office.
“I’m working on getting into the 70s,” said Groselak, a biology major who has his sights set on becoming a dentist himself. “That’s my focus, to get my average lower. By next year, I’d like to see my average lower by three strokes or so. I’d like to get down to around a 77 average.”